Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

By Any Other Name

Leaders like Lukashenko, Duterte, Erdoğan, Bolsonaro, Orbán, and Trump*; do they indeed represent a global move toward authoritarianism? Or, is there perhaps another explanation? Was there something specific that brought these once titular democracies to such a state of state; a common underlying reason for this lots rise to power? Did the world change, or, […]

People distrust government and experts because Republican politicians, conservative media, and libertarian ideologues tell them to

A lie can travel halfway around the world before truth can get its boots on Anonymous (often attributed to Twain) Trust in government has been declining in the United States for decades.  Although skepticism about government can sometimes help us avoid policies that are harmful or unfair, low levels of trust are troubling for two […]

Analyzing the impact of biodiesel and it causing a potential issue

Michael Smith Farmer and Agricultural Economist, “Farmers need more space for crops to meet mounting demand”- AgResource | Reuters Dan Basse of AgResource Co. analyzes the impacts of biodiesel and is throwing up a potential issue.  Reuters interviewed an agronomist who is closely watching the budget reconciliations and the spending of a $350 billion yearly […]

Some (non-libertarian) sense on vaccine hesitancy and mandates from Zeynep Tufekci

Vaccine hesitancy is a serious problem.  It is killing people and prolonging the social and economic costs of the pandemic.  One possible policy response is to make vaccination mandatory, at least in certain contexts (hospitals, schools, interstate transportation, etc.).  Libertarians frequently object to vaccine mandates in uncompromising terms.  They exaggerate the risk of vaccine side […]

“Quit Your Whining” – Economists to Cattle Ranchers

Author, Farmer, and Economist Michael Smith briefly talking returns to Cattle Ranchers and profits to meat processors and retail. The beef industry is under fire, we’ve been seeing this for years. We first saw where Smithfield has taken over whole towns for pork production, vertically integrating as much as possible, even to take a cut of […]

Continuing the Conversation concerning Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Continuing the conversation concerning Medicare and Medicare Advantage programs – Value Added Healthcare. Background Kip Sullivan and I have had a running dialogue on Value Added (VA) healthcare. This usually starts up with my asking a question, giving my doubts on certain topics, and a back and forth in an exchange of emails. I have […]

Private Equity Taking Over Healthcare and Doctors losing Control . . .

Articles from my Inbox as usual. There is a common thread here of private equity getting more involved. It is bad enough with ACOs buying up medical facilities. We are losing control of healthcare. “Insurers are taking decisions out of the hands of physicians, says ortho surgeon,” Dr. Grant Shifflett: I don’t want to paint […]

Meanwhile, back in the authoritarian hellhole of Australia . . .

According to American libertarians, the dangers of covid authoritarianism are clearly on display in Australia.  We’ve looked at some of these claims before.  Here is some additional context from Van Badham, writing in today’s New York Times: Last week, the myth of our enslavement propelled aspirational allies into the streets. In the United States,  Poland  and Britain, […]

Agenda of Biden’s Build Back Better Bill

The same as the American Rescue Plan Act and the Improving Medicare Coverage Act, no one is talking of the detail within the Build Back Better Agenda bill. This makes it very vulnerable to pseudo Senators like Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin who are holding out for what ever reasons or just for spite. It […]